If you look into a Chinese dictionary, you will find fifty to sixty thousand characters-each with its own structure, and each presenting a unique challenge to the practitioner of the graceful art of Chinese calligraphy. In this fascinating, informative guidebook by an expert in the field, this ancient art comes alive for beginners and advanced calligraphers alike.
The author provides both practical instruction in Chinese calligraphy and an absorbing historical background – from the pictographic beginnings of Chinese writing, more than 4,000 years ago, down to the Kai, Hsing, and Tsao styles (each over 1,000 years old) that have endured to the present day. The basic construction of individual characters is explained, as are the many ways in which calligraphy is used by Chinese artists. Separate chapters are devoted to Chinese calligraphy as an art form, language as a way of understanding Chinese thought, Chinese porcelain and ceramics, calligraphic seals, and inscriptions on paintings.
The book’s final chapters comprise a detailed, step-by-step guide to using Chinese painting equipment and to mastering the techniques needed to create stunning examples of brushwork calligraphy. This book will delight artists and calligraphers as well as all readers interested in Chinese art and culture or in the development of writing.
The introduction to the book:
Although “calligraphy” merely means “words written by hand”, to the Chinese it is considered an art with a history almost as long as China itself. The characters not only convey the language of thought but also, in a visual way, the artistic beauty of the thought.
This book’s intention is to help people to enjoy the artistry of Chinese calligraphy without having to possess full understanding of the language itself.
The beauty and movement of the individual strokes, the patterns of their structures, the understanding of the importance of brush-strokes and the techniques necessary for readers to attempt Chinese calligraphy for themselves, are all contained within this book.
Hopefully, also, a greater understanding of the art of Chinese calligraphy will provide a clearer insight into the character of the Chinese people themselves.
1st Dover edition, paperback, 128pp, monochrome throughout, well illustrated, 21.3 x 28.5cm